Thursday, January 31, 2013

JANUARY 2013 RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


I cannot believe that today is the last day of the month. How time flies so far. It was just like yesterday when I was cramming for my 2012 Year Recap post and now I am doing the January Recap. I've had an awesome month  because I've received fantastic titles, GFC followers moved up a notch as well as the blog hits, I was able to tweak my Blogger theme the way I wanted it to be and I was able to keep up with the fast-paced blogosphere. So here's my January Recap.

January 1 - I posted my first ever Feature for the blog in which I interviewed Jodi Meadows and featured her as Author of the Month. (Post HERE)

January 3 - posted my first ever 2013 review but unfortunately, it was my first ever one-star rating. (HERE)

January 5 - posted my first Stacking the Shelves for 2013. (HERE)

January 8 - reviewed Supernaturally by Kiersten White. (HERE)

January 10 - talked about my second Feature for the blog: Luxe Series Reading Challenge. (HERE)

January 11 - reviewed Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. (HERE)

January 12 - showcased my book haul on Stacking the Shelves where I received my first ever print ARC. (HERE)

January 15 - reviewed Until I Die by Amy Plum. (HERE)

January 18 - participated in The Peculiar Philippine Tour hosted by National Book Store and Harper Collins where I shared my review along with my other co-bloggers. (HERE)

January 20 - shared my thoughts and take on Plagiarism under my blog feature Huddle. (HERE)

January 21 - revealed Blurred's (Kissed by Death #2) cover by Tara Fuller. (HERE)

January 22 - reviewed The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse using my new post pattern and rating image. (HERE)

January 23 - shared my anticipated title on Waiting on Wednesday. (HERE)

January 23 - finally finished tweaking my theme. (HERE)

January 24 - reviewed Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. (HERE)

January 26 - showcased the new books received from various authors and from a publisher. (HERE)

January 27 - participated in Within's Blog Tour (by Clare Marshall) and shared my review. (HERE)

January 29 - reviewed Crewel by Gennifer Albin. (HERE)

January 31 - January Recap post + Book of the Month.



and this month's novel that deserves the title is no other than one of my all-time favorites:
HEMLOCK by Kathleen Peacock!





Tuesday, January 29, 2013

REVIEW: CREWEL BY GENNIFER ALBIN.

Title: Crewel (Crewel World #1)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Edition: Hardcover
Published: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 368
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.
Crewel is twistedly good.

I've been dying to get my hands on Crewel since forever. The cover is just so pretty that its draws you in. And after another forever of waiting, I finally got it and I am really hoping the novel would be worth the price I paid it for.

Adelice is forced to stay in Arras after her retrieval. Her parents trained her all her life to fail her test so that they would stay together. But Adelice made the slightest mistake and that cost her parent's lives. She's now forced to work as a Splinster and weave time. No one knew she could weave without loom but she's being watched by the Manipulation Services. And now she's torn between Jost and Erik and she needs to find a way to escape before they remove her ability or worst, rip her sister.

Crewel is one of my most anticipated titles in 2012 and basing on the reviews it got, it appears to be a very good dystopian novel. At first I thought it would just be any typical dystopian I've read but I was wrong. Crewel is set in a distant future on a very futuristic place called Arras where everything is controlled by a thread. During my first sixty pages, I constantly remember Angelina Jolie's movie, Wanted. In the novel, special Splinters are gathered and trained to weave time for Arras to work properly. They could rip a thread which means kill a person or they could create beautiful things with their abilities. The novel is very unique that I had issues grasping it at first because honestly, weaving time is not something I could immediately picture. As I go deep, weaving's significance is thoroughly explained and I was so surprised I didn't get bored. Albin created a world where magic is not needed but science stands out. The plot is more of a science fiction than dystopia because it only touches a little bit of the latter. I loved how Crewel transported me into a new universe where abilities could make one a major controller of life. The description of how Splinters are treated appears to me as if females are in control. Albin made me see that in the novel, there's women empowerment in between lines.

Adelice for some reason, annoyed me. I know it might be Albin's intention to write her that way to give life to her character, but her sarcasm and stubbornness are usually thwarting. Every bit of her decision only get her in trouble. And for a protagonist, I am not just accustomed to that. I also got annoyed of too much of Pryana's gullibility and Maela's corruption for power. But Cormac's character is perplexing. I am at war with myself because there's a huge part of who he is that I like most when he's supposed to be the villain. He exudes power and cruelty but in the novel, I was able to see even just a glimpse of his good side. Loricel and Enora took me by surprise. I was happy and sad all at the same time. And who would forget Erik's finesse and Jost's indifference? I love them both.

The romance portrayed in the novel didn't really work well for me. I am not a fan of love triangles but of course, there were exceptions in the past. Crewel's is very disorienting to be honest. I didn't really agree on it. And there were inconsistencies with the Guild's rules. And I am wishing that book two would be better.

Crewel isn't magical but it's phenomenal. It will test your ability to concentrate and will nudge your imagination to the core!

VERDICT:
"Take the happiness you can, even if it's only little." - Valery

Sunday, January 27, 2013

BLOG TOUR (4): Within by Clare Marshall.

Hello there! I am so happy to share that this is my second participation in a Blog Tour for the year and I am glad to post my review! I enjoyed reading this novel and I would like to thank Clare Marshall for providing an eBook copy of the book!

Title: Within
Author: Clare Marshall
Edition: eBook
Publisher: Faery Ink Press
Published: November 11, 2011
Pages: 190 pages
Source: Review Copy provided by the Author
Category: Romance
Trailer: Not Applicable
Synopsis:

Trinity Hartell’s life changed after the accident. Left with irreversible brain damage, she becomes a burden to her mother, a cause for heartbreak for her boyfriend Zack, and a flattened obstacle for her best friend, Ellie.

But then she starts writing. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that the psychotic, murdering protagonist of her novel bears a striking similarity to the charming Wiley Dalton, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming election.

Or, perhaps not.

It is my first time reviewing an ebook copy and I am really excited about it. I am also excited because Within's synopsis is promising. I am so happy to write my review.

Trinity's life has changed after her car accident. She had severe brain damage that she starts to act like a child and not like a seventeen-year old. She doesn't recognize most of her family and friends, even Zack, her boyfriend. When she starts to write a story, almost everyone takes it as an effect of her brain trauma but not Zack and Trinity's best friend Ellie. They know that the story is true. That their mayoral candidate is a murderer.

I had fun reading the novella. At first one would believe that its a contemporary plotted novella, but as you go deeper, there's a very surprising twist that I didn't see coming. It has a slow build-up at first which helped the story and characters to develop. I was also able to see glimpses of Canada for that matter. The fact that its just 190 pages, I was surprised its that good.

Marshall wrote Within in a way that a reader would definitely enjoy it. I liked how the story progressed from a romance to a full-blown action/mystery plot. I liked how Trinity's character made her part very well though the accident is really heart breaking and I honestly feel for Zack. He's a very faithful boyfriend and given his situation, one could seldom find a man like him. He didn't take advantage of anyone nor use the current situation for his benefit. I just didn't like Ellie that much. Her faith in her best friend, no matter what her condition is, proved that she's a good friend. Though her character is a very tough one, her persistence with whatever she's holding out for Zack didn't get my approval.

I just wish that there's a little more explanation about the cult so just not to leave a reader hanging. I wanted more of it and there were some questions I wasn't able to find answers to.

Marshall provided a good read that would keep you up for hours just to finish it. Within, all in all, is a fast-paced mystery/action novella. It is truly gruesome but in a detective kind of way and I wish there's more. I really enjoyed it!

VERDICT:


Here are the other blog stops:
January 16: Pieces of Whimsy
January 22: SAHMaegan’s Blog
January 25: Rally the Readers
- MY STOP -
And Faery Press Ink is giving away a print copy of Within HERE!
Thank you so much Clare and Faery Press Ink for the ebook copy of Within and for hosting the tour!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (14): THE REVIEW GALLEYS EDITION.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that showcases newly acquired books or goodies we bought, received or borrowed during the week.
*05/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

I'm back! Well, I didn't really purchase any books because of my book buying ban but I exempted one title because I need it for a tour. So am back because I've received books from authors and from a publisher. This is more of an "In My Mailbox" post but I don't do that meme and am just sticking to STS. Here's what I got for the last few weeks:


RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:
🔼 Black City (Black City #1) by Elizabeth Richards
🔼 Breaking Point (Article 5 #2) by Kristen Simmons

You see, I was really so surprised when I received Breaking Point! I couldn't believe it! Both books will be for touring but the excitement of receiving copies is just priceless.

THANKS SO SO MUCH TO ELIZABETH, PUTNAM AND TOR/MACMILLAN!


RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:
🔼 Heart Waves (Heart Waves #1) by Danielle Sibarium

GIFTED:
🔼 Edge of Apocalypse (The End Series #1) by Tim LaHaye, Craig Parshall

BOUGHT:
🔼 The Peculiar (The Peculiar #1) by Stefan Bachmann

I was afraid I wouldn't receive Heart Waves because it took almost a month for it to arrive but am grateful for it! My brother also gifted me this Christian Fiction novel that I wouldn't review but would love to read and I bought The Peculiar for its Philippine Tour. I had to buy it because I went home to the province. Long story.

THANK YOU DANIELLE, MY BROTHER ARMAN AND NATIONAL BOOK STORE!


SWAG: THANK YOU ELIZABETH AND DANIELLE!


RECEIVED FOR REVIEW: (eARC)
🔼 The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

It was just my first time requesting from Net Galley and I was so happy when they approved these titles! I know their ebooks but I will definitely finish reading these two!

THANK YOU SO MUCH NET GALLEY AND TOR TEEN!

Thank you, guys!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

REVIEW: TIME BETWEEN US BY TAMARA STONE.

Title: Time Between Us
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Time Between Us #1
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: October 9th 2012 by Hyperion
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 384
Genre: Time Travel, Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

Time Between Us is invigorating.

The moment I saw that gorgeous cover and learned that it is a Time Travel inspired novel, I knew I have to get my copy. And I couldn't stop jumping with bliss after getting the last copy available last October.

Anna is a typical teen who loves to run and dreams of traveling the world. She's studious and works at her parent's book store. While running in the morning of March of 1995, she sees a guy watching her intensely from a bleacher and smiles at her as if he knows her. When she turns around to check the mysterious guy out, he's gone without leaving any prints at all. And Anna's sure that the new guy in school is the one who she saw on the bleacher. But Bennett denies it.

Stone wrote a breath-taking love story. The time travel aspect is very well written because I saw no major complexities. Writing a time-travel inspired novel is a very sensitive but Stone made it easy-going. One would be able to follow through the hops and kicks of the time travel without getting dizzy. The story is well-balanced with sub-plots I love like family and friendship. It doesn't push hard on time travel but it mixes with everything else the way I expected it to. Plus, no cliff-hangers, just happy ending.

I love how the characters developed. Anna is definitely the timid one but she flourished into a very brave character. I felt her pain as I go deep into the novel and I saw the reasons behind her rationality. The way she handled revelations is very subtle and I loved the fact that she chose something better than to mope around and dwell on her pain. And who wouldn't adore Bennett? He's good-looking, gentleman, adventurous and selfless. Plus he's so adorably romantic. They're really meant to be together.

Time Between Us depicts ideal family relationship and friendship under bizarre circumstances. It shows how a person should hold on tightly to whatever one believes in. It is truly a light read with a refreshing plot. I heard it would have a sequel and I would warmly welcome it once it arrives. The novel shows what one can do for love.

Dear Bennett,
For as long as I can remember, I've dreamed of seeing what lies outside the only world I've ever known - outside my safe, normal life. And now, here I am, in a small fishing village as far away from home - as far away from "normal" - as i can possibly be. And amazing as it is, I know one thing for certain - none of it would matter if you weren't sitting here next to me. You can take me anywhere. Or nowhere. But wherever you are in this world, that's where I want to be.
Love, 
Anna

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (21): HOOKED BY LIZ FICHERA.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
*05/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

Expected Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Add to Goodreads
When Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.

Honestly, the cover made me fall in love with it. I've seen mixed ratings on Goodreads but still, I would give it a shot. Let's see what this novel has to offer.

What did you pick this week?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

REVIEW: THE FORSAKEN BY LISA STASSE.

Title: The Forsaken
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Series: The Forsaken #1
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: July 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Pages: 375
Genre: Dystopia, Romance

Synopsis:

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

The Forsaken is a hand-numbing read.

I've had The Forsaken sitting on my shelf since October of last year. Aside from its alluring cover and promising premise, I've heard nothing but great things about it. Dystopia genre surely did capture my heart and I know I cannot go wrong with this novel. And I am happy I was right.

Alenna Shawcross is an orphan who grew up in United Northern Alliance (U.N.A). It is a mix of countries which is now governed by Minister Harka. Since her parents were taken by the government ten years ago, her life has been completely monotonous. She keeps to herself most of the time and did nothing but to follow government rules to avoid trouble. The government runs tests to teenagers to see who have the potential to be an Unanchored Soul. Those who wouldn't pass will get thrown to Prison Island Alpha where the life expectancy is just up to eighteen. And Alenna has never been shocked in her life to see that she's now an Unanchored Soul.

Stasse's debut novel is very intriguing. They way she created U.N.A is a fresh approach to the dystopian plot she wanted to present. The world building is perfect for a YA Dystopia and it isn't a place you would question. The technology is very advanced and the populace seem to be very well-adapted to the futuristic world. It is honestly breath-taking and different from any other dystopias I've read.

The Forsaken has such strong story line. I love how Stasse intensely beautified her novel with her writing technique and how there's no dull moment in it. The spaces between the mysteries of the Prison Island Alpha and Alenna's past are too thin that once you start reading, for sure one would find it difficult to stop even just to get a drink.

I was torn between four and five stars as my verdict for The Forsaken. It is truly a wonderful read. However, when I pondered why I was even torn and just like those reviews I've read, I have to drop a star. I didn't totally agree with how the romance took place in the novel. It was too fast and way too misplaced if I may say. There are a lot of grave situations where romance shouldn't have happened at all. I appreciate that Stasse probably doesn't want to bore readers but the initial attempt with the romance didn't quite work well for me and I am wishing that the sequel's approach to love would be better.

The characters, I think, have played their parts right. From the normal reaction one might do in a given situation to a deeper sense of being, I couldn't complain at all. I've never encountered such realistic characters and how Stasse managed to make each character compliment each other is admirable. The characters have each of their own motives that added to the already action-filled plot and I enjoyed that immensely. There are tons of heart-wrenching parts but eventually, everything just simply fitted perfectly at the end. And with The Forsaken, nothing can compare with the braveness and toughness of my favorite character, Gadya.

The Forsaken is a novel one would surely fall in love with. It has rich world-building and a very thrilling premise that is partnered with fantastic characters. I cannot wait to continue Alenna and Liam's fight for freedom in The Uprising!

"Because as long as you were alive, there was hope. That's all people need in order to do amazing things, Alenna. Hope is the great human motivator. It always has been."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SPILL THE FEELS (02) : PLAGIARISM.

Where I share all my bookish feels about certain topics I find intriguing, fun or controversial. Basically my two bookish cents.

My take (and some questions) on plagiarism.

Last night while browsing Twitter, I noticed that a few book bloggers I recently followed were ranting about plagiarism. Curious as I was, I read all of their posts about it (I feel bad about their current situation) and that particular incident brought questions to my mind.

Plagiarism is defined as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own". Having said that, how can we tell if we are (specifically book bloggers) plagiarized? Is it by the templates we use, the design, color or layout? Is it the book info we put on our blogs? How about on reviews, can it be considered plagiarism if the writing techniques are the same? It is through the review's length, the introduction, summary or closing paragraphs? Is it all about the memes/discussion post we all participate in/host? Can we say we're plagiarized if others are using the same terms/expressions? Is it by using the same images from Goodreads? If yes, then aren't we all guilty of plagiarism?

Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with plagiarism. I feel violated. I feel used. I feel upset. Who wouldn't if you're not even being credited for your work! I've been blogging about 8 months now and all I could tell you guys is I work hard on my blog. From the books that I invest in to the effort I exert to personalize my page/post to the tiniest sacrifice I give just to finish a book, I know deep inside me, am one of those hard working bloggers there is and a few friends could attest to it. Though my blog's stats are so far doing just about right, I still ask myself, what if along the way, I'd be a victim too? How would I handle it? How would I know if am being plagiarized even?

I still couldn't find the answers to those questions and am praying that I wouldn't come across this in the future. That is why am always careful, it is a must for me to credit back to the right owners of whatever I put in the blog that aren't mine. I always make sure that I put watermarks on my pictures and I signed up to the copyright website. But would those things really suffice? This is the reason I posted this, not only to warn but to seek advise especially to those who are all well-established bloggers. I understand that book blogging isn't always safe especially how the internet works, but there's always respect right? There are no rules on how to show respect to your fellow book bloggers or to other people for that matter.

So my questions are:
If someone copied you but asked for your permission or credited you, would you still be considered plagiarism?
How can we identify if we are being plagiarized?
How to handle it?
How to prevent it if possible?

Bloggers should be helping one another in whatever way they can and I hope that whatever bad is going on with some of our fellow book bloggers would get through this. No one should be a victim of any heinous thing after all.

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, January 18, 2013

BLOG TOUR (03): THE PECULIAR BY STEFAN BACHMANN.

I am super excited to write my review of Stefan Bachmann's debut novel, The Peculiar! It is a middle grade read he wrote when he was sixteen and today is my stop for the Philippine Blog Tour hosted by National Book Store, Harper Collins and Pinoy Blog Tour! Thank you so much for having me!
Here's a little something from Stefan! So cute!


Title: The Peculiar
Author: Stefan Bachmann
Series: The Peculiar #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: September 18, 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Source: Bought from Powerbooks
Pages: 376
Genre: Middle grade, Steampunk, Fantasy

Synopsis:
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

When HarperCollins announced that there will be a blog tour for The Peculiar, without hesitations, I signed up. I love middle grade reads. From Harry Potter to Heroes of Olympus series, I have never been disappointed. And I am curious enough as to what this young author would give.

Batholomew is a Peculiar. He's a changeling, a half-human, half-fay. Together with her little sister Hettie, they hide from the outside world because they are afraid to be killed. In Bath, once a beautiful town, Peculiars and Fay for that matter are all treated in a very cruel way. Humans surrounded them with iron, they made them slaves, their magics were suppressed, they almost don't eat and they will never go back home, to their world. But Batholomew saw a lady in plum took his only friendly neighbor in amidst of changelings' murders. Curious as he is, he stepped into the circle where the lady stood and he was magically transported to another place and has been marked "Child Number 10".

The world Bachmann created in The Peculiar somehow reflects what we see nowadays. Poverty and politics were among the few things I've caught from the novel which depicts exactly what happens in real life. I loved how Bachmann used these issues in a completely different way that made its statement in the novel. Bath is a very dark place yet he was able to explain thoroughly its history and made his story work in it perfectly.

Some of the reviews I've read said that the pace is a little slow and I actually agree with those. It took a while before the pace started to go into works and I had an issue with that. But the slow build-up wouldn't affect how I felt about the story and the characters. I strongly felt attached to Hettie, Batholomew and Arthur Jelliby and I wish I could just grab the second book to continue their adventure. It is indeed categorized as Middle Grade but one could also put it in Young Adult for most of its content can be easily marked as the latter. I really really enjoyed reading it.

The Peculiar is a magical novel one cannot simply put down. The darkness enclosed to it is just enough to look forward to the sequel. Its world is cruel but fresh that will make your imagination work triple time and I recommend it to everyone. Adult, Young Adult and kids will enjoy it because the kid in me did!




Here are the other blog tour stops:
Amaterasu Reads (1/13/2013)
The Soul Sisters (1/15/2013)
Teen Readers Diary (1/16/2013)
Blackplume (1/17/2013)
- MY STOP -
Fragments of Life (1/20-21/2013)
Mr. Bookwonder (1/22 and 24/2013)
Defiantly Defiant (1/23 and 25/2013)
Book Whales (1/26-27/2013)
We Fancy Books (1/28/2013)

Pinoy Book Tours in collaboration with Harper Collins and National Bookstore, we have copies up for grabs! Just follow the rules and earn points!

For International readers, here's a RaffleCopter for you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and for PH readers, here's one for you as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOODLUCK!!

Again, I would like to thank Christine from HarperCollins, Pinoy Book Tours, National Book Store and Stefan Bachmann for such outstanding tour!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

REVIEW: UNTIL I DIE BY AMY PLUM.

Title: Until I Die
Author: Amy Plum
Series: Revenants #2
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: May 8, 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 357
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.
As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

After my agonizing search for Die For Me, I hoped that I wouldn't experience it again with its sequel, Until I Die. The love I have for it is way beyond words that I kept wishing it would land in my hands sooner. When it did, the joy I felt was too much that made me wish hard again for its reading schedule to finally come.

Until I Die starts with Kate and Vincent getting back together and finding a way to make their relationship to work without Vincent dying over and over again. While Vincent is secretly trying to find an alternative solution for his thirst to save, Kate goes on her own to find her own solution. When she finally gets some information, the Numa attacks.

In the beginning of the novel, I was tempted to drop it for the mean time. I feel like it was building up too slow and I was honestly afraid to get bored. But I love Die for Me so much and it pulled me throughout the novel. As soon as I passed two hundred pages, I could no longer put it down and finished it till two in the morning.

However, aside from the slow build-up, I find the antagonist a little redundant. In Die For Me, nobody from the Revenants sensed that it was Lucien and it happened again in Until I Die. The Revenants existed hundreds of years and I was expecting that their extensive experience should somehow help them. But it didn't and for me, that was a little off.

Until I Die redeemed itself from three stars and that is with Kate's help. Her persistence in helping Vincent lead them to uncover ancient secrets and find the reason behind Numa's attacks. Yes, she's gullible but I can't blame her. The friendship offered to her was tempting and just the right thing she needs. The twists really caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting the betrayal and loss to affect me big time. The pain is so strong that I couldn't almost breathe after finishing it. It was so tragic and heart-breaking.

Amy Plum once more had given the beauty of Paris justice with her Revenants. Until I Die is a sequel just perfect for Die For Me. Its romance endures, its twist rejuvenates, its action captivates and its history enthralls. I couldn't ask for any kind of sequel at all. And at the moment, I need If I Should Die to mend my shattered heart!

"Kate, I've spent a lifetime waiting for you. Before I saw you, I hadn't cared for anyone for... well, for a good part of a century, and it felt like my heart had been permanently disconnected. I wasn't even looking anymore. And without expecting anything... without any hope at all, suddenly you were here."